Dáte, S.V. 1964- (Shirish V. Dáte)

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Dáte, S.V. 1964- (Shirish V. Dáte)

PERSONAL:

Born 1964, in Pune, India, immigrated with family to the United States, c. 1967; married; children: two sons. Education: Stanford University, bachelor's degree, 1985.

ADDRESSES:

Home—Tallahassee, FL. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Writer and journalist. Palm Beach Post, Palm Beach, FL, Tallahassee bureau chief. Also worked for the Times-Herald Record, Middletown, NY, the Orlando Sentinel, Orlando, Florida, and the Associated Press.

WRITINGS:

Final Orbit, Avon Books (New York, NY), 1997.

Speed Week, Putnam (New York, NY), 1999.

Smokeout, G.P. Putnam's Sons (New York, NY), 2000.

Deep Water, Putnam (New York, NY), 2001.

Black Sunshine, Putnam (New York, NY), 2002.

Quiet Passion: A Biography of Senator Bob Graham, Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin (New York, NY), 2004.

Jeb: America's Next Bush, Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam (New York, NY), 2007.

SIDELIGHTS:

Journalist and novelist S.V. Dáte was born in India and immigrated with his family to the United States when he was three years old. Much of his writing, both journalistic and fiction, revolves around politics, which the writer has covered for many years as a journalist. The author also features big business and Florida theme parks in his novels. For example, in Speed Week, Nick Van Horne finds he is at the bidding of his mother-in-law, Joanna, after his stock-car racing father dies. When Joanna sets out to create the Speed World theme park, she is opposed by a group called Save the Turtles, which is headed by Nick's estranged wife. Wes Lukowsky, writing in Booklist, called Speed Week "a cautionary tale of greed, steamy sex, and irresponsible development."

Dáte turns his focus to the tobacco industry in Smokeout. The story revolves around a Tallahassee legislative session in which the tobacco company lobbyists are looking to influence a vote to repeal legislation that allows them to be sued. When normal channels seem to be failing them, the company leaders order that more underhanded methods be taken, even if it means murder. Writing in the Library Journal, Thomas L. Kilpatrick noted that the author has "written a raucous indictment of the tobacco industry." A Publishers Weekly contributor commented that "thanks to Date's animated characters, who are quirky without being cartoonish, and impeccable narrative timing, the fast-moving plot never veers out of control."

Dáte's satirical novel Deep Water focuses on a rebellion by the residents of Serenity, Florida, created as an "ideal" community for workers near the Whipple theme park. However, the residents, who thought they would be leading perfect lives, instead find themselves lorded over by security guards in houses that are quickly crumbling. When a journalist comes to do a soft story on the Whipple theme park, the reporter discovers a relationship between the company and the disappearance of Serenity protestors. A Kirkus Reviews contributor referred to the novel as a "nasty, funny satire" and also called it an "uproariously funny … cautionary tale that delivers the one-two punch Mickey Mouse has been begging for."

In his 2002 novel Black Sunshine, the author tells the story of Byron "Bub" Billings, the likeable older son of a popular governor, who is recruited to run for governor himself against a lackluster Democratic candidate. When Bub disappears off of a Republican Party cruiser and is presumed dead, his jealous younger brother, the bland Percy, takes his place as the candidate. Bub is not dead, however, but has been rescued by a political consultant named Moran who is out to get incriminating evidence on Bub. Before long, Moran finds that he likes Bub, and the two soon set out to discover who pushed Bub overboard. Several reviewers noted that the satirical novel is a parody of the Bush election. A Publishers Weekly contributor referred to Black Sunshine as a "timely farce" and added that "it should have Michael Moore fans cackling with recognition and glee." Kilpatrick, in another Library Journal review, noted that the author "has laid Florida politics low with a hilarious indictment of that state's electoral process and Republican Party."

The author has also written political biographies, including Quiet Passion: A Biography of Senator Bob Graham. The book focuses on the reasons behind Graham's popularity in Florida, where he was a two-term governor and three-term senator. "Date is generally positive about Graham's career, emphasizing his environmental record as governor," wrote a Publishers Weekly contributor. Writing in the Sarasota Herald Tribune, Susan L. Rife noted: "The book has a breezy, conversational tone and is liberally annotated with Date's footnotes, which have a comic, sometimes sarcastic quality."

Dáte also provides a political biography of Jeb Bush, former governor of Florida, son of one U.S. President, and brother to another. Jeb: America's Next Bush reflects on Bush's eight years as governor of Florida and delves into how Bush was groomed for the presidency before his brother George stepped to the forefront. "Most compelling is Date's examination of the constantly evolving history of the hypercompetitive, hyperpowerful Bush family dynasty," wrote a Publishers Weekly contributor. David Pitt, writing in Booklist, commented that the author "has done his homework."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, April 15, 1999, Wes Lukowsky, review of Speed Week, p. 1470; January 1, 2007, David Pitt, review of Jeb: America's Next Bush, p. 44.

Kirkus Reviews, August 15, 2001, review of Deep Water, p. 1145; August 1, 2002, review of Black Sunshine, p. 1057; November 1, 2006, review of Jeb, p. 1108.

Library Journal, October 1, 2000, Thomas L. Kilpatrick, review of Smokeout, p. 146; September 1, 2002, Thomas L. Kilpatrick, review of Black Sunshine, p. 211.

Publishers Weekly, March 22, 1999, review of Speed Week, p. 70; October 9, 2000, review of Smokeout, p. 75; September 9, 2002, review of Black Sunshine, p. 41; March 15, 2004, review of Quiet Passion: A Biography of Bob Graham, p. 66; December 11, 2006, review of Jeb, p. 59.

Sarasota Herald Tribune, March 21, 2004, Susan L. Rife, "A Biography of Potential Vice President Bob Graham," p. 5.

South Florida Sun-Sentinel, October 12, 2001, Oline H. Cogdill, review of Deep Water; November 15, 2002, Oline H. Cogdill, review of Black Sunshine,.

Washington Monthly, March 1, 2007, Phillip Longman, "Son King: Further Confirmation That the Wrong Bush Brother Was Elected President," review of Jeb, p. 67.

ONLINE

Lee County (Florida) Reading Festival 2002 Web site,http://www.lee-county.com/library/lee_county_reading_festival_auth2.htm (June 23, 2007), brief profile of author.

S.V. Dáte Home Page,http://svdate.com (June 23, 2007).